When you think of European food, the exquisite dishes of Italy and France usually come to mind, but you will be surprised at how good the culinary scene is in Germany as well. With a population of over 83 million inhabitants and diverse traditions, German food is much more than schnitzel and bratwurst.
In the past, we often found it difficult to order our food while traveling in Germany, so to make your meal easier, we made a list of the best traditional German cuisine. We also provide links to recipes so you can make them at home. With a combination of rich and rich ingredients, most German dishes are relatively easy to prepare.
Traditional German food
When we think of traditional German dishes, they are often rich and heavy and almost always include meat. It is usually combined with beer and some creamy sauce. This is especially evident in Bavaria and the mountainous region, but not all German food is.
We have compiled a list of the most popular foods in Germany that all types of chefs like. Whether you are looking for an authentic German dessert or something more creative, these are 20 German dishes you can try today.
1. Bratwurst (grilled sausage)
Think of traditional German food and you’ll probably think of bratwurst. Bratwurst are sausages made with minced pork, beef or veal. The sausages are then fried in a pan or baked until crispy.
You can serve bratwurst with mustard on top. Many Germans like to eat their sausages in pubs with sauerkraut or potato salad. They are also popular as fast food.
2. Schnitzel (breaded cutlet)
A schnitzel is a thin piece of meat crushed into a flat slice. Then bread the meat before frying it. You can eat deep-fried or pan-fried schnitzel. In Germany, mainly pork is used as the preferred meat.
Viennese schnitzel, which is more of an Austrian dish, is perhaps the most popular here in North America. This is a cutlet layered with ham and cheese and then breaded and fried in a pan. The traditional Weiner Schnitzel is made with beef, but you can substitute whatever you want. Many Germans like to eat schnitzel with french fries and cream sauces. This is a great recipe for Weiner Schnitzel if you want to make it at home.
3. Pretzels (pretzels)
Brezel (or Brezeln) is better known in English as pretzel. This is a cake made from wheat dough, which you then tie in a knot.
German pretzels are soft and baked. You can put sea salt and ground cheese on your for a spicy breakfast. You can also fill yours with cinnamon sugar or nuts.
4. Stewed cabbage
Stewed cabbage is a very popular German food. German food recipes vary, although most combine cabbage with broth and vegetables for added flavor.
Stewed cabbage can be something like an acquired taste. Some recipes require apple cider vinegar, which can be superb. But it complements very well the smoky and spicy taste of bratwurst. A quick and easy recipe for stewed cabbage can be found here.
Labskaus is a beef dish. German sailors developed it in the 18th century and it became popular among many people on land. Try making your own Labskaus at home with this easy-to-follow recipe.
This is a combination of salted beef, onions and potatoes. These ingredients are blended together and combined with gherkins and other ingredients such as pickled beets. It looks like pink porridge, but is a good dish when you have leftover ingredients that you want to combine.
6. German potato salad
The most scandalous German ingredient is potatoes. There are many German varieties of potatoes, because southern Germany is an area conducive to growing potatoes. Many Bavarians have invented a number of recipes using everything they have.
Unlike other forms of potato salad, German potato salad relies on bacon, sugar and white vinegar. This adds more salt and fat to the dish without being too high in calories.
Potato salad complements a number of German main dishes. If you want an Americanized German dish, you can find German-style German potato salad recipes online.
7. Bratkartoffeln (french fries)
Bratkartoffeln is also known as German french fries. The term literally means “french fries” and is a good recipe for less experienced chefs.
Combine the sliced potatoes with the bacon and onion and fry everything together in the butter until crispy. Some people like to eat their potatoes with fried eggs or a light salad.
8. Kartoffelknödel (potato dumplings)
Kartoffelknödel is the German term for potato dumplings. Potatoes serve as a base for dumplings, but you can include any spices and croutons you like.
Then the dumplings are boiled. You can then place extra croutons on top or eat your dumplings with your favorite sauce. See how to make them at home with this recipe.
9. Potato pancake
Reibekuchen are German potato patties or pancakes. If you have drunk latke before, you will find Reibekuchen very similar to them.
You can grate the potatoes and then combine them with the eggs and flour. Once you have formed the mixture into patties, you can fry them until crispy. Reibekuchen works as a side dish, and you can have them with apple sauce or minced meat. Get the full recipe here.
10. Maultaschen (meat dumplings)
If you want dumplings without potatoes in them, you can eat maultaschen. They come from Swabia, a region in southwestern Germany that borders Austria and Switzerland. The area was a common stop for Italian traders, which means that Swabian cuisine has some Italian influences.
Maultaschen are small paste leaves filled with various ingredients. Some people like to include minced meat, while others add smoked meats, including sausages. You can also add onions and herbs to your dumplings.
Some people make their own dumplings by stewing them in broth. But you can also fry them in butter. Stewed cabbage is a common side dish for them. Get the full recipe here.
11. Sauerkraut soup
Sauerkraut soup is a good option for people who like sauerkraut, but find certain recipes too strong. The soup has sauerkraut at its base, but also includes bacon, vegetables and white beans. The broth is chicken-based, which you can make yourself if you have the time.
The soup is salty but nourishing. You can eat it with crispy bread or french fries.
12. Ruladen (veal rolls)
You may be familiar with the roll, which is a roll that is then stewed. Rouladen is the German version of the dish, although it is also popular in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Like schnitzel, it includes thin and wide pieces of meat. You can then cover the pieces of meat with mustard and roll them up before filling them with bacon and other fillings.
The secret of roulade is the sauce. You can make beef or vegetable sauce while frying your meatballs and then pour the sauce on top. The roulades are spicy and filling and go well with mashed potatoes.
Spargel is a German white asparagus. It is similar to green asparagus, although it has a milder taste. You can boil your asparagus whole in water and serve them plain. You can also fry or roast your asparagus with butter and various spices.
14. Rollmops (marinated herring rolls)
Many early Germans relied on sour fish as a source of protein. Many of them celebrated Lent by giving up pork and beef, which meant they needed fish for food.
Rollmops are marinated pieces of herring that chefs roll into cylinders. The fillings are then filled inside. Some Germans like to fill their herring with pickles and tomatoes to create a salty taste.
15. Bauernbrot (Farm bread)
Baurenbrot is a German farm bread. As the name suggests, this is plentiful bread that German farmers bake so that they can work for long periods of time.
The bread is made with rye flour and German bread spice. The bread seasoning is a mixture of spices, including cumin and dill. Gives a sweet touch without making the bread look sweet. Do you like to make bread at home? Get the recipe here.
16. Vollkornbrot (brown bread)
Vollkornbrot is brown bread. It is made with wholemeal flour, not rye flour. It also contains wheat fruits and seeds, including sesame.
This is a hearty and slightly sweet bread that is good for sandwiches and toast. For an easy breakfast, you can take a few slices and put jam on them.
17. Spaghetti (ice cream)
Spaghettieis is a modern German dessert that is becoming popular in many European cities. As the name suggests, it looks like Italian spaghetti.
You can do this by pressing vanilla ice cream through a potato masher to create ice cream noodles. You can then put strawberry sauce on top so that the dish looks like pasta and tomato sauce.
18. Curing (fruit cake)
Stollen is an authentic German Christmas food. It dates from the 16th century and is most popular in Dresden. This is a flat bread with dried and candied fruit. You can also add chopped or whole nuts and then sprinkle the bread with powdered sugar.
19. The Black Forest Gate
The Black Forest Gate comes from the Black Forest region of southwestern Germany. But its name does not refer to the forest, but to the popular alcoholic beverages there.
Gato is a cake that contains several layers of chocolate sponge cake and whipped cream. Kirschwasser, a liqueur made from tart cherries, is poured on top. This is a juicy dessert that combines chocolate and fruit flavors.
20. Apple Struedel
Strudel is what many people think of when they hear about German desserts. The word ‘strudel’ means ‘whirlwind’ or ‘whirlwind’.
Apfelstrudel is a swirling apple pie. It is oily, light and sweet. You can eat your strudel with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, although many people like it on their own.
The best of German food
German food is a phenomenon. Most people have tried spicy bratwurst, schnitzel and pretzels. But you can also try stewed cabbage and labskaus.
It is true that German cuisine offers a number of potato dishes. German potato salad and fried potato patties are popular options. But you can try many meat and vegetable dishes. When you want dessert, you can make a strudel from apple or apple. If you want authentic German food, you have to go to Germany.
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